Sojourner’s Truth Staff
The Ohio Department of Education released the annual State Report Cards last week and the Toledo Board of Education, clearly dissatisfied with the incomplete grades the district received because of the impact of COVID-19, released it own analysis of the progress the district has made in recent years.
“4,000 students did not take the tests,” noted TPS Superintendent Romules Durant, EdD. “The data became useless to us.”
Indeed, noted the Board, the “Report Card gives a woefully incomplete picture of public education in this and other school districts.”
The scores from the State Report Card indicated that TPS was “Not Reported” as a component grade in every category – Achievement, Progress, Graduation Rate, Improving At-Risk K-# Readers, Gap Closing and Prepared for Success. All categories received a “NR.”
One area the Report Card does issue a grade on is Performance Index score in which TPS earned a score of 43.82 or 36.5 percent – well down from the 2018-2019 score – but given the vast number of students who did not take the tests, such a result was not unexpected.
The district conducted “our own internal diagnosis” said Durant and the district is clearly pleased with various aspects of the progress it has charted over the years.
First and foremost, TPS now has a graduation rate of over 80 percent – 82.3 percent at the end of the 2020 school year. That rate hovered in the percentage rate of the low 60’s until 2014 – the year Durant was named superintendent. Since then, the rate has made a remarkable climb into the low 80’s.
The district’s placement rate for Career Tech students is another source of pride. In recent years TPS has added 2,200 students – 10 percent of overall enrollment – into its Career Tech program offering “the most courses of any school system in northwest Ohio,” said Durant. Those students are graduating at a 91 percent rate.
The district has been particularly successful in placing such students into employment, military service or post-secondary education opportunities, he added, at a rate of 96 percent.
TPS offered a Virtual Academy during the 2020-2021 academic year in order to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. This academic year, the VA continues with more than 800 students enrolled.